Feature Student: Will Brown of Ute Mountaineer

When did you first know you were on the right path in the specialty retail industry?

After several years working for an online review publication in the outdoor industry (in a number of affiliate relationships with online retailers), I missed being a part of a social, face-to-face customer experience. Simply making the move to a brick-and-mortar setting—helping customers find the right product on a sales floor, not from behind a keyboard—was an important step for me.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

When the doors open we have the opportunity to make a customer’s day, vacation or season with our expertise and service. Being a part of a team that’s passionate about doing that, day in and day out, is great.

What’s the most valuable lesson you learned through Mann U?

That “yes” or “no” questions aren’t helpful in working to correct behavior, and the importance of dialogue in working with employees.

Give us one pointer for developing a genuine relationship with your customers.

Whether you’re working with a regular or a first-time customer, ask what they want, but don’t forget to ask about what they’ve done. Knowing something about a customer’s past experience can be key in finding them the right product, but it also shows you’re curious about their interests and how they’ve spent their time outside, too.

Your bumper sticker would read, “I’d rather be… ___.”

Skiing!

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